Handbook on Strategic Environmental Assessment
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Handbook on Strategic Environmental Assessment

Edited by Thomas B. Fischer and Ainhoa González

This comprehensive Handbook shows how Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), an important decision support tool for strategies, policies, plans and programmes, is applied globally. It reflects on SEA practices and the advancements made over the past three decades in the development of SEA.
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Chapter 9: Guidelines for strategic environmental assessment in developing countries: examples from Asia

David Annandale, Thomas B. Fischer, Marcelo Montaño, Caroline Purcell, Jonathan Coles and Thiri Aung


The introduction of SEA in developing countries has advanced considerably over the last decade. Most countries have some form of regulatory backing, and associated experience with piloting SEA studies. For countries just beginning to develop SEA systems, decision-makers frequently want to see concrete and up-to-date SEA manuals or guidelines in order to proceed with implementation. The lack of detailed guidance can hold up implementation of SEA, as proponents and regulators can use this as a reason for not implementing a particular requirement. It is in this context that this chapter examines and compares a number of recent (2017-2019) SEA guidelines in five Asian developing countries (Bhutan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Laos, and Thailand), examining their purpose (expected outcomes), challenges and overall aims. Furthermore, earlier 2009 SEA guidelines from China are also reflected on for comparative purposes. All of the countries discussed in this chapter, except Thailand, have laws that specifically require SEA for selected sectors and policy, plan and programme types.

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